A Year of Presidential Scholars
Seven scholars highlight today’s critical debates
NEW YORK, April 26, 2012—In September of 2011, King’s launched the Presidential Scholars program to bring leading Christian and liberty-minded intellectuals to the College. Since then, six Presidential Scholars, including Alvin Plantinga, Wayne Grudem, John Stossel, Stephen Barr, Brian Wesbury, Dallas Willard, and Benjamin Wiker, have used The King’s College as a launch-point for engaging in the crucial debates of our day.
President D’Souza said that the Presidential Scholars program was launched at a time when our nation is “embroiled in many crises that are—at their roots—intellectual, moral, and spiritual.” He characterized the visiting scholars as “statesmen and stateswomen who will defend timeless truths against the aggression of the new atheism and the radical secularism that we see in society today.”
Throughout the course of the year, visiting scholars participated in Q&A sessions with President D’Souza, seminar series, radio shows, and lectures to the public in New York City.
Scholars lectured in a variety of fields including politics, philosophy, theology, ethics, economics, and even physics. The first Presidential Scholar, Philosopher Alvin Plantinga, spoke on “Science & Religion: Where the Conflict Really Lies.” In his lectures, he argued that, contrary to the claims of new atheists like Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins, theistic religion and science are not naturally opposed. In fact, he argued, they are natural allies.
Wayne Grudem, a theologian and Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary, gave a series of lectures at King’s on Biblical views of government. He also spoke at an event co-sponsored by the New York Christian Legal Society. He delivered his lecture, titled “The Role of the Courts: A Biblical Argument for Originalism,” at the American Bible Association building in Manhattan.
Among other Presidential Scholars were thinkers like philosopher Dallas Willard, who lectured on “The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge in Today’s World.” During his lectures at King’s, he explored the centrality of knowledge to the Christian faith and the role knowledge plays in understanding that Jesus is the Son of God. He also delivered a talk at Socrates in the City on the compatibility between reason and spirituality.
“The Presidential Scholars series has given students, as well as New Yorkers, opportunities to hear some of the best thinkers answer the important political, philosophic, and economic questions our society faces,” President D’Souza said. “Each Scholar has been a valued addition to our campus.”
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.
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